The South African plastics industry has joined the wave of volunteers helping to bring water relief to drought-stricken areas, with the Maitland office of Plastics South Africa (SA) chosen as a collection point for water donations from members of the public and businesses in Cape Town.
“Low rainfall in parts of South Africa has caused severe drought and water scarcity. Five out of our nine provinces have been declared disaster areas. We’ve heard harrowing stories of children competing with cows for drinking water and farmers committing suicide and knew that we had a role to play to bring relief where we could,” Plastics SA sustainability manager John Kieser said in a statement.
Servicing a need for containers that could be used to transport large quantities of water to areas as far afield as the Northern Cape, the Free State and the North West, plastics manufacturers Nampak Containers donated 60 25 ℓ drums and Polyoak Packaging donated 750 20 ℓ and 25 ℓ drums.
“We are happy to report that the first shipment of water left Cape Town on January 10, with 1 800 ℓ of water. Every single truck dispatched has reached its destination safely and without incident,” he said.
Collections for water would continue until the drought had broken, Kieser added.
“We especially need more bottled water for drinking purposes. As lakes dry up, mud mixes with the remainder of the water. Animals and humans often have to compete for this precious water. Donated tap water is being used in villages and towns for laundry and washing,” he noted.